“Don’t mention that name in front of me, that filthy piece of toerag,” one of Boris Johnson’s constituents offering their view of the prime minister was the highlight of this morning’s Sunday shows.
Stephen Barclay confirmed MPs could vote on the Brexit deal before October 17, Robert Jenrick said the government had “no plan” what to do if parliament forced it to ask for an extension, Lisa Nandy said Labour MPs would not rebel to back the PM and Shami Chakrabarti said it was “fantasy” to think John Bercow could be come PM.
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick claimed this morning the government had “no plan” as to what would happen if parliament blocked the UK leaving the EU at the end of the month.
Speaking to Sky News’ Ridge on Sunday, Jenrick also said the government had “no intention” of extending Article 50 beyond October 31.
“We intend to get it done on that date and that’s the sole focus of this government at the moment,” he said.
Stephen Barclay, the Brexit secretary, told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show the government was “talking” to Labour MPs to try and persuade them to back the PM’s deal.
“Particularly those MPs in Leave constituencies who have voted against no-deal and voted against a deal three times,” he said.
Barclay also confirmed MPs could be asked to vote on the deal before the EU summit on October 17. “We are considering it,” he told Marr.
But Lisa Nandy, who is seen as a good indicator as to whether Labour MPs would defy Jeremy Corbyn and back a deal, dismissed the idea the government could win support from her side.
She told Ridge that while 40 Labour MPs wanted to vote for a deal, they would not back the one offered by Johnson.
“I would vote for a deal but this is not a deal, this is a pre-election party political broadcast from the prime minister,” she said.
“What we’ve got is a proposal which stands virtually no chance of being accepted by the EU,” she said.
Nandy instead suggested Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement, which did win EU support, be reintroduced. The Wigan MP said it was the “only way” a no-deal exit could now be avoided.
The Labour leadership has, as expected, said it will not back Johnson’s deal. Shadow attorney general Shami Chakrabarti told Marr there were are no loopholes in the Benn Act, designed to stop a no-deal Brexit, but warned that the prime minister speaks with a “forked tongue”.
“He seems to have a very casual relationship with the law. He seems to think he is above the law,” Chakrabarti said.
Chakrabarti used the interview to reject the suggestion John Bercow could be come PM of a caretaker government cobbled together to avoid a no-deal exit.
“If I may say so, we are now getting into almost fantasy football. I think it’s unlikely, I really really do,” she said.
And she said once a no-deal exit had been avoided there would be a general election “this side of Christmas”.
Latvian prime minister Krisjanis Karins said Johnson’s Brexit offer was a “basis for negotiations” but warned the UK would have to compromise further.
“If Mr Johnson is willing to negotiate that’s a very good sign and certainly from Europe’s side we are always looking for a deal that works for everyone,” he told Marr.
“If a deal can be found that keeps the single market intact and is not bad for the Republic of Ireland I think it would work for the rest of the EU as well.”